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July 2, 2014

Stuff magazine drops pics of scantily-dressed women from the front page after research shows they harm sales

By William Turvill

Gadget magazine Stuff is axing scantily-dressed women from its cover 18 years after launching.

The Haymarket-owned title, which recorded a monthly circulation of 62,391 in the second half of 2013, said the change was motivated by a changing readership.

It made the decision to rid its cover and inside pages of female models after conducting focus group surveys, digital audience profiling and cover trials on three editions.

In April, May and June 20 per cent of the title's total print run was distributed in four UK areas without cover girls. 

Sales of the non cover girl issues increased by 10 per cent in April, 7 per cent in May and 6 per cent in June.

Editor-in-chief Will Findlater said: “Stuff was launched in 1996 at the peak of the lad mag era. Nearly 20 years on – and with tech now an indispensable part of everyday life – our readership has changed. The covers used to help our position on the newsstand but our research tells us this is no longer the case.

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“We want the cover to reflect what Stuff is about: the best technology in the world. Our new look will make it easier for us to bring our award-winning coverage of the cleverest, most forward-thinking new gadgets and software to readers united by their passion for technology – and nothing else.”

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